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House of Earth and Blood

I really just don’t learn with the SJM books, do I? In my defense, I thought what I was getting was Ninth House because I mixed up the reviews I’d heard. TRIGGER WARNING FOR TALKS OF SU*CIDE AND SELF HARM.

Have I mentioned how terrible these covers are??

Bryce is a party girl. Or was, until her best friend is brutally murdered. Hunt is a fallen angel, a slave to the republic he fought against. When both are charged by the governor of Crescent City to find the thing that murdered Bryce’s friend, they’re going to have to get over their prejudices in order to solve the most dangerous mystery the city has ever faced.

Holy shit this book is 799 pages long and also the MOST BORING thing I’ve ever read. TLDR: fuck this book. Use your time elsewhere, because it’s not worth the 20+ hours it takes to choke it down.

First of all, I love swearing. It’s the most fun a girl can have, but dropping a fuck word, TWICE, on every page is excessive and unnecessary. I get that this is SJM’s first “New Adult” book, but there are better ways. This was not one of them.

Also, not that I want it, but this would be the book for spice. SJM, for the life of her, cannot write good smut, but the amount of interruptions in this book were like clockwork. Don’t promise a “hot romance” if all you get is some foreplay. There’s no smut (again, not that it would be any good) but saying there’s any spice in the book at all is so misleading.

Speaking of unnecessary, I don’t think there was a SINGULAR character who wasn’t described as beautiful (female) or powerful (male). And the amount of times Bryce and Hunt were described as such?? We fucking GET IT. That and SJM’s obsession with “racial ambiguity” (all of her characters are white, don’t @ me) makes my skin crawl. Hunt and Bryce are white, because *golden* and *tan* means white, especially when concerning this particular author. I think the only two POC were Juniper (maybe? after 800 pages you forget what’s happened) and another person I’m forgetting because it was a brief encounter and I was beyond fed up at that point. It’s not hard to diversify your characters, especially in a world you made yourself. Stop being ambiguous and say it with your whole fucking chest, godDAMN.

Also, the amount of “toe curling” and nonsense that was happening was unacceptable. not that Maas knows ANYTHING about anatomy, especially when she’s writing lines like “vital arteries.” ??? You mean ALL arteries?? Because I can assure you they’re ALL vital. I’m also calling bullshit on Bryce double fisting a sword and a rifle (which, you get no details. it’s just “Hunt’s rifle.” what kind of rifle? one you need to cock *and* can use one handed? I think the fuck not). And correct me if I’m wrong, but Bryce as a half-Fae is reminded time and time again she’s not as strong as the other Vanir so how is she cutting down demons (who Hunt states he fought and BARELY survived ONE) one handed? Huh?

Coming from a forensics background too, the investigation was a hot fucking mess. Nitpicky, but DNA analysts (what I studied to be) don’t actually go into the field. The only people at a crime scene are the police, CSI, and nosy nellys. It’s the basics, anything you can Google. And this had to be the most boring murder I’ve ever read about, with conclusions that literally anyone could’ve come to in half the time it took Hunt and Bryce, who are the dumbest people on the planet. That, and Bryce is the reason people who know the victim/people of interest are not allowed anywhere near the case.

For a book set in ONE city, this world has absolutely no meat. If you copy and pasted any passage from ToG and ACOTAR about any of their cities, they wouldn’t read any different. I had friends in my undergrad who could world build so much better, and in less than 800 pages! How can you write 800 fucking pages and not actually say a goddamn thing??


Go to therapy. I know SJM said it was great and then immediately shit on it, but Bryce is in no way a role model. If you are having thoughts about self-harm, unalive-ing yourself, there are places you can call or contact for help. It’s such a dangerous message to put out, especially as a well-known author, that you can just “deal” and you “deserve the pain” and “taking it away is forgetting the ones you’ve lost.” If it’s so serious that Bryce’s friends are talking her off a rood, she needs help, and yet she keeps telling Juniper that she won’t go to therapy. Call a professional.

I finished this book out of pure spite. There was ONE character I actually cared about (Aidas) and that’s because I have a hangup about death and darkness gods, etc. Will I read the next one? Jury’s still out, but probably not. If I do end up picking it up, I will not be giving money to SJM, because she doesn’t deserve it.

Trigger warnings: *DEEP BREATH* death, violence, drug use, suicidal thoughts, slavery, ableism, addiction, alcohol, alcoholism, animal cruelty, animal death, blood, body horror, body shaming, child death, confinement, cursing, death of parent, drug abuse, emotional abuse, fatphobia, fire, fire injury, gaslighting, genocide, gore, grief, gun violence, hate crime, incest, injury, injury detail, medical content, medical trauma, mental illness, murder, panic attacks/disorders, religious bigotry, self harm, sexual content, suicide attempt, torture, toxic friendship, toxic relationship, trafficking, vomit, war

☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️ NO STARS FOR YOU, SJM.

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